Pastoral psychology

AN AUTOETHNOGRAPHIC EXPLORATION OF MY CPE LEARNING PROCESS

Author
Anurag Mani D.Min.
Abstract
In this project I explore the Association of Clinical Pastoral Education (ACPE) learning process through the lenses of my human condition: my being an immigrant who was born and raised outside the United States of America and came to the country and to the Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) process in my adulthood. I use the research method of autoethnography to explore and give voice to my experience. As an immigrant, I observe that my experience of my journey to become a CPE Educator has been marked with unique challenges that seemed different to the experience of those who were born and raised in the U.S.A. My research question is: Can a careful analysis and interpretation of my own experience in the CPE education process help other immigrants seeking CPE certification to better understand their own complex and unique experience through this difficult, challenging, and exciting process?

Youth Outreach and Missional Ecclesiology: Listening to Those at the Church's Boundary

Author
Steven L Hovater
Abstract
This project explores the thesis that young outsides can provide insight into the real nature of the church, by exploring and describing the insights of such persons within the bounded set of those who have had specific experiences with the church of Christ at Cedar Lane- involvement with its youth outreach ministry. The research presents insights surfaced through semi-structured interviews. Using a missional theological framework, the project asserts that the practice of listening to those at the Church's boundaries can refine the Church's understanding of its self and the mission of God.

Clergy in crisis: running the race towards healings using crisis intervention and pastoral presence

Author
Denise A Currie-Lowe
Abstract
The context of research was a two-day teaching and interactive workshop at New Bethel AME Church in Lithonia, Georgia. The problem in question was to determine the reasons why clergy face burnout within their context of ministry. The workshop included teaching clergy and lay the definition of crisis, types of crisis, and discussed methods of healing, to include pastoral presence. A mixed methodology of qualitative and quantitative surveys was used to conduct and analyze responses from participants cross-sectionally and longitudinally. The hypothesis tested if crisis workshops are taught, then the levels of clergy burnout and crisis would decrease.

A qualitative study of doubt in the evangelical tradition

Author
Benjamin B Young
Abstract
This project explord the difference between evangelicals who doubted and stayed in the evangelical faith and those who left the fold. Grounded theory was the primary research methodology and data was gathered from interviews with people who struggled with doubt. This data was used to develop a strategy for people going through doubt and for pastors helping others process doubt. Pastors need to provide a safe place to doubt by listening and being patient, and by waiting to see how God will work in the lives of the people who are struggling with doubt.

A biblical approach to the problem of posttraumatic stress disorder in combat veterans

Author
Dean E Bonura
Abstract
This paper examines the problem of combat-related trauma and reviews the literature that discusses spiritual aspects of trauma, resilience, and posttraumatic growth. The author proposes a biblical, Christ-centered approach for understanding PSTD and finding healing. Biblical templates challenge traditional psychological interventions and pose the possibility of new constructs for understanding trauma. The author developed and administered a 23-item questionnaire to 165 recent combat veterans and conducted 30 interviews of soldiers who have served in either Iraq or Afghanistan. Findings supported the use of spiritual protocols and revealed the importance of spirituality and family connections as a resilience and growth factor among soldiers.

Seminar in family and congregation relationship process: formation practices for ministry in chaotic times

Author
Kenton T Derstine
Abstract
The author of this project developed and conducted a seminar for pastors motivated to deepen their understanding and application of the concepts of Bowen family systems theory. The thesis of this paper is that Bowen theory can be a valuable formational resource to pastors for growing in the ability to minister faithfully in the face of the intense anxiety manifesting in congregations. The seminar met one day each month for eight months. This paper offers a theological foundation for pastoral formation, an introduction to the essential elements of Bowen theory, and draws correlations between theology and the theory. The paper includes a description of the curriculum components and learning methodologies used in the seminar. The formational journey of each of the participants is documented with concluding observations.

Equipping a selected group of members of Odena Baptist Church, Sylacauga, Alabama, for a ministry of encouragement

Author
Daniel K Courson
Abstract
The purpose of this project was to explore the role of encouragement in ministry using the Equipping Program Model. The project director studied selected scriptures and biblical role models including (but not limited to) specific aspects of the ministries of Paul and Barnabas. In addition, the project director explored selected models and methods of encouragement used in ministry settings. The project director also explored selected aspects from the field of positive psychology. The findings of the research dictated the contents of the lessons. The project director then trained a selected group of members of Odena Baptist Church, Sylacauga, Alabama, for a ministry of encouragement.

Preaching through our troubles: how preachers use their sermons to heal in times of intense personal challenges

Author
Kay Palmer Marsh
Abstract
This project examined ways in which experienced preachers use their regular Sunday sermons to work through their human struggles, both personal and professional. A review of pastoral care and homiletical literature was conducted; twenty experienced United Methodist elders were interviewed; and four sermons were submitted that had been preached on a Sunday immediately following a preacher's difficult life event. After analysis, it was discovered that preachers relate to the topics they preach about. Using appropriate boundaries, preachers can and do utilize their Sunday sermons to bring comfort and healing to themselves as they preach to their congregations.

Avoiding ministry burnout: a curriculum of preventive self-care for small group leaders

Author
Chung-Pui Wilson Chang
Abstract
The training and equipping of small group leaders usually focuses on the skills of handling ministry situations; however, the stress and its effect on a small group leader are often neglected. This thesis project attempts to address the need of proper self-care for small group leaders in their demanding and stressful life from the following aspects: to acknowledge and identify leadership dysfunctions; to build a healthy foundation of self-care by cultivating three attitudinal qualities that are rooted in the grace of God; and to develop a plan and managing skills that can foster personal growth. The final product of this project is in the format of an annotated PowerPoint curriculum that can be implemented by a facilitator.

When the pastor leaves: a manual for presbytery intervention during the early interim period

Author
Daniel M Saperstein
Abstract
The "early interim" period between the departure of a pastor and the arrival of an interim minister is characterized by elevated congregational anxiety, individual and collective grief, and greater reliance on denominational leaders. Drawing on organizational theory, congregational systems theory, grief and transition research, and interim ministry practice, the author identifies six goals for presbyteries of the PC(USA) to assist congregations during this period. A manual was developed, featuring training modules in Appreciative Inquiry, and other resources to reframe the crisis and to empower lay leadership. Structural strategies include transition teams and temporary supply ministers. Congregational field testing was conducted.
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